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Dagenham museum shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 June 2019

Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.

Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.

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A family-friendly museum in Dagenham is in the running for a national award.

'Archaeology adventures' are among the family-friendly activities at Valence House. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.'Archaeology adventures' are among the family-friendly activities at Valence House. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.

It was announced today (Tuesday) that Valence House Museum has been shortlisted in the Family Friendly Museum Award, which is voted on by families across the country.

The charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to a museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Valence House Museum is up against five others in the small museum's category, and among 16 nominees for the overall Family Friendly Museum Award.

Families voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website, before a panel of experts whittled down more than 800 nominations to a shortlist.

Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.

Kids in Museums chair Emmajane Avery said: "To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families.

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"This is a well-loved museum that caters for its community and makes a real effort to go out and meet more families."

Valence House was voted by The Guardian as one of the 50 best free things to do in London.

It is the only surviving manor house in Dagenham, dating back to Medieval times, and is still partially surrounded by a moat.

Following extensive refurbishment in 2010, its galleries tell the story of Barking and Dagenham and its people throughout the ages, utilising the core collection of around 20,000 objects.

Visitors can also enjoy a tranquil herb garden, Dig for Victory plot, Oasis tearoom and Archives and Local Studies Centre, along with a year-round programme of events - ranging from cupcake decorating and archaeology to gardening and ziplining teddy bears.

Barking and Dagenham Council deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, Councillor Saima Ashraf, said:"I want to say a huge congratulations to the team - this is recognition for all the fantastic work they do for such a wonderful part of the borough's heritage."

The shortlisted museums will now be visited by undercover family judges.

Their experiences will decide the category and overall winners, who will be announced in October.

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